29 September 1941
#870 (In 4 parts, complete)
To Chief of Bureau Terasaki from Iguti.
I realize, of course, that I am being presumptuous, but the following are my opinions of the negotiations to adjust U. S.-Japanese relations:
(1) In view of such incidents as were described in our message #866*, we believe that it would be well if we did not deliver those papers here which have already been delivered in Tokyo to Ambassador Grew. Duplications in this manner are apt to create misunderstandings through transmission errors and through differences in translations. This is particularly true of some vague passage which cannot be made clear without lengthy explanations. (Please see our message #865**, and others for points which are in doubt). Under these circumstances, we are unable to make explanations when we are requested to do so by the United States. The Ambassador himself is placed in an exceedingly awkward position. We, therefore would prefer to put most of our efforts in trying to sound the U. S. attitude.
(2) We have already said that we have said all that is to be said. To keep submitting notes after notes, thereafter, which do not always run in sequence with the previous note, is not good, for it causes confusion and further delays.
As a matter of fact DESUBANIN * * * told us in confidence that the United States is of the opinion that the scene of the negotiations was shifted to Tokyo by us so as to bring about delays. They think that we are watching developments of the German-Soviet war, and that we shall launch a northward move if indications seem to favor it.
(3) Father Drught advises us that a friend of his in Tokyo (probably Walsh) reports that Japanese governmental circles feel that there is absolutely no reason why the United States should not accept the most recent proposals. The fact that she has not done so, must be due to interference from some Washington source, Walsh cables.
For the past six months, we have been holding talks here during which the attitude and stand of the United States has been set down clearly. We feel confident that you are aware, through our various reports on the subject, that it is exceedingly unlikely that the United States has any intention of backing down from those established stands.
We feel that there must be a tendency in Tokyo to view the United States statements too optimistically. It is imaginable to us that there are those who approach the Premier with a little too much "wishful thinking".
(4) It is admittedly true that impatience in this matter must be avoided. We realize, of course, that circumstances have made it unavoidable to a certain extent, but even so, it seems to us that we have been urging the United States to reply quite frequently of late. This apparently is giving the impression to the United States that we are overly anxious.
On the other hand, the United States applied the "freezing" order on us, effecting our entire economic structure. Since then, they have been sitting tight, awaiting and watching subsequent developments. The United States does not suffer greatly from that measure; hence they are in no rush.
Under such circumstances, we do not feel that it is to our advantage to show signs of over-anxiety all by ourselves.
JD-1: (D) Navy Trans. 10-4-41 (1)
*JD-1: 5560 (S.I.S. #22877). Grew's report of our terms of peace with China differs from what you sent me. Please check.
**JD-1: 5534 (S.I.S. #22961). Long report from Nomura giving his views of current state of U. S.-Jap negotiations.
***R. E. Desvernine, President American Crucible Steel Co.
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)